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British history

Autor: Petr Vostrý

The Celts arrived 2500 to 3000 ago. Their language survives in Welsh and Gaelic. England was added to the Roman Empire in 43 AD. The Romans built camps, forts and roads through the land and also Hadrian's wall as the protection against the invasion of the Celtic tribes. The Romans towns and forts were connected roads, which was used by British for many centuries. The Jutes, the Angles and the Saxon tribes arrived from German lands. They fought with Danes from the 8th and 11th centuries. The last successful invasion was by French speaking Normans led by William, Duke of Normandy, who became William the Conqueror after defeating the Saxon King Harold in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. William the Conqueror established a strong central government and appointed Norman noblemen to high position. The opposition by nobles forced King John to sign Magna Carta in 1215, a guarantee of rights and the rule of law. In 15th century was in state war of the Roses between House of York and House of Lancaster. Religious independence from Rome was secured when the Church of England was separated from the authority of the Pope in 1543 by King Henry VIII. Under Queen Elizabeth I. Britain became a major sea power, leading to the founding of colonies in the new world and the expansion of trade with Europe and the Orient. In 1588 England defeated the Spanish Armada and this. Together with the explorations carried out by Sir Francis Drake, helped established British supremacy on the seas. Scotland was united with England when James VI. Of Scotland was crowned James I. Of England in 1603. The Act of Union in 1707 Scotland with England. A struggle between Parliament and the Stuart kings led to a bloody Civil War. The country was divided between the supporters of Charles I., who wanted to rule absolutely, and the supporters of Parliament. The monarchy was restored in 1660 but the "Glorious revolution" in 1688 confirmed the Parliament. Technological innovations , such as James Watt with steam engine or steam locomotive by George Stephenson, led to the Industrial Revolution. The 13 North American colonies were lost, but replaced by growing empires in Canada and India. Large parts of Africa and Asia were added to the empire during the reign of Queen Victoria. Through victorious World War I. Britain suffered huge economic losses. The land suffered major bombing damage in World War II., but held out against Germany after the fall of France in 1940. Industrial growth went on in postwar period, but Britain lost its leading position to other powers. Labour governments passed programmers nationalizing some basic industries and expanding social security. The Thatcher conservative government has however increased the role of private enterprise.

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